March 24, 2017
The urban farming movement is taking a new twist, or rather, is on a new track. Growers are producing crops in refitted freight train cars, using hydroponics and automated systems equipment.
Each former freight car costs $85,000, not including shipping, with each “controlled environment” container producing an estimated average annual profit of $39,000. A 320-square-foot car is capable of producing roughly what a three-acre farm could, while using 95% less water than traditional farms.
Boston-based Freight Farms, the manufacturer of the equipment, says the most popular destinations for the 7.5-ton high-tech freight cars are urban areas across the country. The movement recently expanded into Arizona, where two urban farmers are growing crops in the cars.
The goal is to bring viable, space-efficient farming techniques to all climates and skill levels year-round. Quality and sustainability is enhanced, since produce travels shorter distances too.
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